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Tracy Short

Head of fashion, luxury and lifestyle brands, MBS Group

Accessories and footwear are two of the fastest-growing areas of the fashion industry. Anyone interested in footwear design should begin their career at Cordwainers College at London College of Fashion. Shoemaking has a specialised and highly technical training so it is important to have a good grounding.

Typical responsibilities for a footwear designer include trend tracking and forecasting through various sources, shopping trips, trade fairs and so on. A genuine interest and passion for the product is important.

As you progress and become more experienced the natural route is to be creative director. The creative director will have more of an overview and vision for a brand and will be more involved in the bigger picture than the day-to-day management of a piece of footwear.

There will be travel to Hong Kong, China and Brazil to source and design materials, fabrics, trims and spend time in the factories working on product development.

There will also be interaction with other departments, for example buying and merchandising.

The salary for a footwear designer is £40,000 upwards, with creative directors earning £100,000-plus.

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